DIY Chair Restoration in 5 Simple Steps

chair restoration

As a storage auction hunter, you have to have many skills. You have to be perceptive to bid, you have to be able to turn yourself into a sales person following the auction, and you have to have many other skill sets to have long lasting success, such as organizational skills. You have to have a DIY attitude when it comes to your business, and this includes finding damaged furniture in storage units and prepping it for resale.

Luckily, some projects are easier than they seem. We have a quick tutorial for you on how to reupholster and repair old or damaged dining room chairs that you've won at your latest storage auction!

In this tutorial, we'll provide a simple fix for standard wood dining room chair sets.

What You'll Need To Get Started:

Most of these items can be found at your location home improvement store or fabric store, or you may already have most of these items in your garage!

PliersPen or Marker
Upholstery Foam
Cotton Batting
New Chair Fabric
Staple Gun

Step 1

Begin by examining your chair for water damage and stains. If there is any water damage, such as water rings, you can begin by using toothpaste or baking soda onto the stain with a wet cloth. You may also use furniture polish to try to get rid of the stain. If this fails, then you'll need to use the sandpaper or a stripper to remove the old stain.

Clean the chair and then continue your project by applying a new stain. Apply the stain with a rag in the direction of the wood grain. This is important! Once that dries, you'll then apply a sealant to protect the chair against long term damage.

Step 2

If you're skipping Step 1 because your chair is in good condition aside from the seat itself, you'll get started here and you won't need the tools mentioned in the first step.

You'll begin by removing the old seat from the rest of the chair frame. This means that you'll need to unscrew it from the frame. use the pliers to remove the staples that secure the old fabric and foam to the seat.

refurbish chairs

Step 3

Use your marker to trace the wood board onto your piece of upholstery foam. You'll choose the thickness of the foam depending on your preference for seating. Use your scissors to cut just outside of the line that you've drawn.

Use your pen again on your fabric and the cotton batting. You'll make your line on each piece of fabric, 2 inches wider than the seat all the way around.

You'll also cut your finishing felt now. It should be 1 inch narrower than the seat for finishing.

Now that you've cut all your materials, you'll stack them from bottom to top: fabric (facedown), batting, foam, and board, as seen in the picture above.

refurbish chairs 2

Step 4

Now you're ready to staple! Grasp the fabric and batting in one section and secure it 1 1/2 inches from the edge of the board with your staple gun. Repeat this on the opposite side to get a proper amount of tension, and then staple the two remaining sides of the chair. Check out the picture above Step 4 for a general idea of what your chair should look like. Round the corners by pleating the fabric and batting.

refurbish chairs 3

Step 5

Finish the chair by stapling your felt piece onto the bottom of the chair. You'll center the felt so that it covers all the loose edges of your stapled fabric and then staple it 1/2 an inch from the edge, notice the picture above for an example.

Poke holes in the felt to reveal the screw holes and then attach your new seat to its frame! You should now have a chair that looks similar to the one below!

Refurbished Chairs

Photos Courtesy of Whole Living

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